Monday, December 29, 2014

there are less than eleven weeks left until my estimated due date. eleven weeks. that's like... nothing. i haven't started to really freak out yet, though, mainly because there have been other things going on. i went up to CT with my husband and parents and then my grandma came down to see the rest of my siblings, and i have been trying to balance my time between my husband (who is on vacation through the end of this week), my brothers (who are on vacation through the end of this week), my grandma (who is staying for a few more days), my house (which is a never-ending to-do list goodness gracious. it's like a freaking hydra, every time we cross something off three more things appear), and myself (which at the moment is just crafting because there is no time for other stuff).

i got out of my ob appointment last week seriously depressed because, while i had figured that i had gotten my weight gain under control (because i had), she was very, very serious about the fact that i had already gained way too much weight and i needed to stop eating immediately. of course, she was counting from a weight that i'm pretty sure i haven't seen on the scale since early high school, but when told of this information, she informed me that that is my "ideal weight" and what i should be counting from. which added an extra ten pounds, at least, to my total weight gain. do you know what does not make a hormonal pregnant lady happy? being told that she's fat. and i have this really obsessive personality (in an extremely unhealthy way) which can be helpful because it is what allowed me to lose all the weight i lost last year and finish projects (mostly craft related) in no time at all and which will help me lose all the weight after cricket decides to join us, but that is seriously not healthy for me right now. i have, through an extreme feat of willpower, decided to ignore my ob. i am trying to incorporate more exercise into my routine and limit the snacks a bit, but other than that i am just going to not worry about it. que sera, sera. anyway, it's getting harder to see my bathroom scale around my stomach and it's only a matter of time before i won't be able to see any weight to worry about. (fun fact; i was doing a prenatal yoga dvd and the lady told us to do three squats. three. before i got pregnant and lazy i had a morning routine that included almost one hundred squats and could do it like a champ. i almost died after these three squats. it was pathetic.)

i now have que sera, sera stuck in my head. i will be singing this forever. and my husband just woke up so we are off to breakfast and watching the hobbit. i hope all of your winter holidays/vacations/boring ordinary days have been/are splendid. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

as your ship is going down, i'll stand by and watch you drown

UGH. so i'm gonna start this by saying that i realize that i am maybe overreacting a little bit because of hormones and stuff, but ugh.

if you have read my blog for any length of time, you probably know that i am a GTA for the computer forensics program at my school, a bittersweet job. while i have met some really great people through this job, there have also been times when i wanted to smash my fist through the computer screen just so that i could stop reading the crap i was forced to read. i love to help people, which i get to do with this, but on the flip side there are the students that just refuse to be helped. they are frustrating.

and then there are the jerks. (jerks is not the word that i have been complaining about to my husband for the last fifteen minutes, but i'm still unsure what my cussing policy is for this blog. i should probably figure it out.) (for some basic background information: this past semester, i graded the assignments for three different courses and then gave general advice and help for the rest of the program.)

so i just got an email a little bit ago from one of the professors that i TA for asking about clarification about points that i deducted from a student who was complaining about his final grade. so i read through the emails that the student sent and UGH.

the first email starts by insulting the person who graded the final exam. you could tell that he thought i graded the exams because he said that the grader was clearly "following a script," a description he used for me in later emails. he also mentioned that his "homework was graded wrong." then there were a couple of emails back and forth that showed the student to be passive-aggressive and condescending but are not worth quoting because they do not refer to me again. when other topics seem exhausted, though, he comes back to me and how i "unjustly deducted" points because i can't "think outside the script" and i count his right answers as wrong because i don't agree with them. he goes on to explain how he is an awesome professional that can do no wrong and it is frustrating to do all this work and have "an inexperience students [sic] grade [his] work poorly because he/she does not know the material." oh boo hoo.

firrrst of all, i deducted points (literally half a point two times) because your answers were wrong. the information in them was right, but as an answer to that specific question? wrong. second of all, i have had several students email me/come talk to me after i post grades to discuss their grades and question my decisions. i welcome these emails. i sometimes give points back. i am always fair. if you don't care enough to bring up your concerns until after you fail to get the grade you want, then you don't deserve the points in my opinion. and third of all, i know the effing material. jerk.

what i want to do is email the student, tell him he can take his GPA that "does not need padding" and all of his experience and shove it, let him know that i hope he fails and that trying to blame your grade on someone else (who literally deducted 3 points from you all semester) is kind of ridiculous. of course, i know that this is immature and unprofessional and just basically wrong, but uggghhh. i'm so annoyed.

(part of me is saying that posting this is unprofessional and wrong, too, but i read through it a zillion times and there is no way to tell which student out of the hundred some i am talking about and so that makes it okay, right? plus, i need to vent. and i think my husband is tired of listening to me repeat the same things four hundred times.)

*Ha Ha You're Dead - Greenday

Monday, December 15, 2014

i can't live without you tell me what am i supposed to do about it

this is a story of betrayal.

last week i went in for my routine glucose test to check if i had gestational diabetes. i had read so much about "the awful-disgusting-horrible-too-sweet-drink" that they give you an hour before drawing blood that i was bracing myself for the worst.

of course, i have always been an avid believer that there is no such thing as too sweet, that saying that something had too much sugar was like saying something was made by a unicorn-leprechaun hybrid - that is to say, ridiculous. i was the person that could eat an entire bag of candy corn (not something i am overly proud of) and still reach my hand in when it was finished looking for more, while people around me had made silly claims of sugar rushes and headaches and buzzing something or other caused by too much sugar less than halfway into the bag. i had a sweet tooth before i had milk teeth, and most of the things i hid from my parents during my childhood were directly related to stuffing sugar into my mouth. if my house was on fire, there are many things that i would let burn to save the candy. despite my general fear of commitment, i have remained committed and loyal to sugar my entire life. i thought that meant something.

so when i drank the orange drink they gave me, i was partly pleasantly surprised and partly not surprised at all that i didn't hate it. that, in fact, i thought it was pretty good. it tasted just like flat orange soda, something i have had many, many times in my life. i rolled my eyes at the drama queens that came before me, waited out my hour, let them pull out two vials of blood, and then went home. i figured that was that.

but it wasn't. the next morning i got a call from my doctor saying that i had failed the one-hour test and needed to go back in to take the three-hour test. (the cut-off was 135 and i was at 136, which is the worst kind of failing. like getting an 89 at school.) i would need to fast for this one, but they thought i should pass it easy. so the following day (friday) i went in to the lab, slightly nauseous from not eating, with a book and a readiness to pass. they took the first blood test to get my sugar levels fasting, and then gave me another drink. red, this time. it had double the amount of sugar as the orange drink, they told me, so i gulped it down. it tasted fine, even if it did drink more like maple syrup than fruit punch. and then i was told that i was not allowed to leave the waiting room for the next three hours, and i settled down with my book to wait.

about forty minutes into my wait, the blood-drawing lady (what are they called again?) came out to check on me "because that was a lot of sugar i just drank on an empty stomach." i assured her that i had a ridiculously high tolerance for sugar and that i was fine. she gave a look and told me to come get her when i wasn't feeling well. i just shook my head and went back to reading. for ten minutes. until out of nowhere i broke into a cold sweat, was suddenly tremendously nauseous and super dizzy and light-headed, and was hit with the dreaded knowledge that i was either going to faint or throw up all over the waiting room because there was no one at the front desk and i had no idea where the bathrooms were. there was one other guy there that kept giving me worried looks, but moved a few more seats away from me instead of asking if i was okay. thankfully, i did neither, and ended up being taken to lie down in a back room. a few minutes after that, they came to take the second blood test. and after sitting up for less than two minutes while they drew another vial of blood (side note: i do not understand why they had to draw vials of blood for this test. if you were just checking my sugar levels couldn't we have just finger pricked at the end of every hour?) my vision started to fade to black, and i was quickly told to lay down before i passed out and just wait for it to get through my system.

"i don't understand," i said. "i'm never like this."
"it's the sugar. that was a lot of sugar to drink on an empty stomach. it's normal," she said again.
and i was too dizzy to argue that it wasn't normal, not for me.

it took an hour of feeling like complete crap before it "got through my system." an hour when i thought multiple times that maybe going alone to this was stupid, and i should probably call someone to drive me home afterwards. an hour with no one to talk to and nothing to do but dwell on the fact that, after twenty-six years of love and loyalty, sugar had betrayed me. there was no way around it.

by the time i got the third blood test, i was starting to feel better. after that, i was able to pull out my book and read for the last hour. when they came in for the fourth and final blood test, i was back to normal, just starving and left haunted by the knowledge that there is such a thing as too much sugar and it is nowhere near as cool as a unicorn-leprechaun hybrid that bakes.

(alternate ending: i was looking forward to sitting in my car and eating the peanut butter crackers i had brought with me, but when i walked into the parking lot there was a lady freaking out because her car wouldn't start, and she had a one year old asleep in her car seat and a mother on crutches who didn't speak any english with her, and she couldn't reach anyone to come help her. i always have jumper cables in my car, but she had a weird car so we had to get two other people to come help us jump it. and it was a huge ordeal and i ended up leaving the parking lot over half an hour later still hungry.)

*Disease - Matchbox 20

Monday, December 8, 2014

[one] i went six months without a single unsolicited stomach touch, and it was great. this morning i went to my old high school to cheer on my brothers, and it was like stepping into the land of unwanted hands on my stomach. i do not get it. first of all, pregnant people deserve personal space, too. it's bad enough we have someone coming in and taking over on the inside, it would be great if people on the outside could respect boundaries. and second of all, what do you think you are touching exactly? yes, there is a baby in there, but it's under a whole lotta layers. aside from the usual clothes and skin and muscles and everything else, i also have an anterior placenta (not sure if this is considered tmi so um sorry?), so really, there is absolutely no point in you rubbing your hand on me. it gets even worse when your sister shows up and asks all of your old teachers that hadn't already felt that they were somehow allowed to just touch my stomach (which isn't even that big yet!) in the middle of a conversation that had nothing to do with babies or pregnancy at all, "do you want to touch her stomach?" and then i can't say, "please don't" because i am me and these are my old teachers and ugh. i feel like one of those statues that people rub shiny because they think it's good luck.

[two] i'm sitting at mason, and it's pretty empty because it's still a little early and finals are coming up (already here?) and so it's really hard to not hear everything people on this floor are saying. anyway, one guy says that he didn't like any of the harry potter movies except for the second one and i almost had to say something because, what? the second movie is probably the worst of all the movies. how is it not only your favorite, but the only one you liked? i mean, goodness. i still don't understand this.

[three] i am supposed to be working on dissertation stuff. i am not working on dissertation stuff. i cannot work on dissertation stuff. it is impossible. i do not think i can school anymore. my brain refuses to function. i will gladly sit and research things that have nothing to do with my dissertation, but that i find fascinating, but i just shut down when it comes to my actual work. ugh.

[four] my husband, siblings, mom, and i went to a craft show yesterday at the place where we do pottery, and i bought this jam (because i have a really hard time resisting homemade jams for some reason. they just really appeal to me.), and i suddenly really want to eat it right now. and i do not have it with me. lesson learned: always carry a jar of jam in my bag. also, there were a bunch of things that i either make/ could make being sold for anywhere between fifteen and sixty dollars, and whenever i go to these kinds of things i think, i could totally sell my stuff. and now i am in the mood to open an etsy store again. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

i finally found what i've been looking for

[one] i'm at that point in pregnancy where it's close enough for the excitement to start surging and yet far enough away that the fears can't really gain much footing. it's a good place to be, but it means that most of the conversations i have with people are ingeniously turned into baby talks. i really have very little else on my brain. this is basically my thought process while i am having a conversation these days: yes, yes, something about work... oooh you know what would be good right now? a cheeseburger... with fries and a chocolate milkshake... mmm... actually no no no cheese enchiladas! yes!... hmm maybe we could stop by rio grande on our way home from dinner to pick up some cheese enchiladas... oh wait someone is talking to you, you idiot... what are they saying?... uhhh... something about work i think... wait, did they finish with work? are they even still talking? you know what is also work? babies... bring up the baby and let's talk about him instead. (exaggeration of course.)

[two] anyway, in case i come back to read this years from now, let me remind my future self of the human-shaped idiocy that is me every morning (and three times a night) that comes along with this excitement and fatty selfishness. i am the kind of person that pulls myself up into a sitting position using my stomach muscles (pretty much the only thing they can do) instead of pushing  myself up from laying down with my arms. which is fine when you don't have a kid hanging out inside of you and messing around with your muscles and organs for fun. but when you do, it leads to body protests, usually in the form of a really bad cramp. like, a really bad one. when i try to pull myself into a sitting position to get out of bed. every. single. morning.

you would think i'd learn, but you're better off thinking of cheese enchiladas to be honest. yum. but seriously every morning, when my bladder finally wins out over my reluctance to get out bed, starts like this:

  1. okay fine, i'll get out of bed.
  2. ouchhh. ow ow ow ow ow
  3. *collapses back onto bed and clutches stomach.* 
  4. god, you're pregnant, you idiot. how did you forget that again?
  5. *pushes myself up with arms and gets out of bed*
[three] do you remember years ago when  i was obsessed with candy cane oreos? well, every winter since then i have looked for them and found nothing. there are winter oreos that have red frosting that i am always tempted to buy in case they are mint, but they existed with the candy cane oreos and why would you have two mint oreos out at the same time? i don't want to buy them and be disappointed with a family pack of normal oreos with red frosting. but no candy canes. until now. sort of. i found a box of mini candy cane oreos in walmart, and despite the fact that them being mini makes me irrationally angry, they are still delicious and amazing and one of the greatest thing to happen to me this week. (and this was a pretty awesome week to be clear.) (full disclaimer: for some reason, i only remember to look for oreos at walmart. probably because they have an entire aisle dedicated pretty much entirely to oreos of different flavors. so for all i know, grocery stores have continued to sell the candy cane oreos for the past three years and i have just been missing out.)

*What I've Been Looking For - High School Musical

Thursday, December 4, 2014

i love you like the stars above, i'll love you till i die

draft last saved on november tenth, two thousand and fourteen.

i am sitting on the floor of my new, couchless living room, eating sour punch strawberry straws and thinking, as i often do when i consume complete crap, that i probably should have grown out of my fondness for weird, sour, chewy things at some point. most people seem to, at least. it's an important part of growing up that i have missed out on. there is light pouring in from all of the windows that we have yet to curtain, and a miniature human being is twisting around inside of me, and i am suddenly overcome with the greatest feeling of sappiness that i do not think i can contain it.

so prepare yourselves.

i've always been a little kid person. always. invite me anywhere and you'll likely find me hanging out with the under ten group. and toddlers? i think they are my all-time favorite people in the whole world. despite this, the idea of pregnancy has always kind of icked me out. it was creepy and gross and tiring and painful and just something that had to be endured to get to the kids. and by that i meant that it was something for other people to endure. pregnancy was not for me, of that i was certain.

i was soso wrong. i think a big part of it was that i was embarrassingly ignorant about a lot of things. i don't know if i was busy playing hangman in that lesson of bio, if i was just never taught it, or if i just didn't fully appreciate it until now, but guys, pregnancy is fascinating, and miraculous. and i obviously knew all the basics, but the small stuff, like when exactly they develop a four chamber heart and how the spleen makes the red blood cells until the bone marrow takes over and the way that they are their own little person with eye color and everything before they are actually even a person just fills me with this great sense of awe, and it is probably one of the coolest things that i've ever done/learned about. i mean, it is still super creepy to think that there is a whole person-parasite just baking inside of me waiting until it is strong enough to make it in the real world, but it is the most amazing kind of creepy. and yes, pregnancy is still tiring and kind of gross and painful, but it is so much more, too. it doesn't hurt that i was blessed with such an easy pregnancy, of course.

and this person squiggling around inside of me? i am already so much in love with him. every time he kicks or moves i am overwhelmed by this giddy feeling like we are the only two members in a super exclusive club. a really awesome club that no one else can get into. and we kind of feel sorry for you, but we're having too much fun with each other to actually let it get to us. and because i am perpetually a glass-half-empty kind of girl, i'm already lamenting the void that will no doubt consume me when our two-person club expands to include the rest of the world. but for now, it's just me and cricket, and it is wonderful.

everything about it feels very right. i've always been a bit mother hen-ish, and this just feels like everything is falling into place. or something. i know that in a few months i will be sitting on the floor crying because i am so tired and i have no idea what cricket wants, but until then, things are good.

*Romeo and Juliet - The Killers

Monday, December 1, 2014

they said, "i'll bet they never make it"

i don't know about you guys, but november was a weird month for me. like both, super busy and also super unproductive. i got a lot of stuff done, but at the same time it feels like my to-do list is just as long as it was before, if not longer. sure the contents of list went from major things like buy a house, etc to buy a storage ottoman, but still. so much to do.

my house, despite the fact that i now have a couch in the living room, a crib, rocking chair, and closet in the nursery, and curtains in most of the rooms that will be curtained, still feels like i'm in the process of moving in. a month later. there are boxes that are piled up because there is nowhere for me to put the junk inside of them yet (i still need more bookcases and a desk or something for everything that was in our built-in office at the apartment) and my momentum has completely flat-lined so i just stare at the boxes that i could probably unpack and think "meh."

but! i did manage to finish my nanonovel which absolutely no one thought i would be able to do so hah. the writing was sporadic, to say the least, but i passed the fifty thousand word mark yesterday morning, and that is really all that counts. i never did manage to get the word count up here on the blog. oops. so here's the breakdown of the writing:

i didn't start writing until day seven when i wrote 2587 words. then on day twelve i got to 4712 words. on day fourteen i made it to 11303, and stayed there until day twenty-two when i wrote up to 17530. that was when i thought i was going to start writing every day like i was supposed to, and on day twenty-three i went up to 19250 words. of course, i didn't actually start writing every day. on day twenty-six, i wrote up to 28525 words. and then i didn't touch it again for a couple of days. on the twenty-ninth, i wrote like crazy and made it all the way up to 46811. my fingers cramped up and my eyes felt like they were going to fall out of my head, but it was worth it. then on the thirtieth, i crossed the finish line and stopped at 50184. you can see from the chart above that literally the only day that i made it to where i was supposed to be (which is shown by the diagonal line) was on the last day. but i finished, and that is all that matters.

*You're Still the One - Shania Twain 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

quick updates about what's been going on in my life slash proof that i am alive and have not given up blogging:

  • we have been living in the new house for a week, now. we still have no couches which means our living room cannot be set up which means there are still boxes of stuff that cannot find homes which means we are still technically not moved in which kinda sucks. 
  • we do have internet and tv now, though. so yay for that, although i really haven't used either very much.
  • aside from not having couches or a living room (or a dining room. we are basically living on the floor) half of my books cannot find shelf space. i need more shelves, but it's not a high priority at the minute so my library is also filled with boxes of stuff that still need homes. 
  • i am doing nano, slowly but surely. very, very slowly. i have only been able to write three days so far which sucks. i have just over 4500 words. i will put up the word tracker on my blog eventually in case you care. i will make it to fifty thousand by the end of the month.
  • i have a blog post that i am halfway through and another one that is just barely started that i will finish and post as soon as i'm less behind in my nanonovel. they are both a lot sappier than usual. i think my pregnancy hormones are getting to me. 
  • due to panicking, some poor planning, and stupid apartment policies, we still have our apartment for a bit and i have been making sure that the almost four years of living there (more like three and a half for me, my husband lived there alone for a bit) is wiped clean. this involves a lot of cleaning, obviously, and carrying last minute things down three flights of stairs. in really small batches. because i am pregnant and not supposed to be carrying heavy things. i have spent more time at the apartment this past week than i have at the house.
  • apparently it's deer mating season (or so i am told) and the other day a stag came running across the street and sort of almost got hit by us, and my first thought was, "god, james, look both ways" and i think i have a problem. 
  • i am itching to have some down time to start crocheting/knitting. i will crochet so many baby blankets. and sweaters (i found a fast and easy and still adorable sweater pattern that i will make a hundred of.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

and all this in different houses

[one] the thing i hate most about day light's saving and the inevitable ending of daylight's saving is that there are some clocks that do not change automatically. specifically, my car clock does not change automatically. and despite the fact that i have owned my car for going on two years now, and it is basically the same, if updated, make and model of the car that i was driving when i lived with my parents and just slightly different than the car i was sharing with my husband post-parents and pre-reggie (my current car), i cannot, for the life of me, ever remember how to change the stupid clock. and of course i usually notice that the clock is wrong when i am in the middle of driving and glance down at it only to have a mini panic attack about how oh-my-god-late i am before i realize that the clock is just stupid. and while i can press all the buttons during red lights, i can't look through the manual to remember how exactly the thing gets changed until i park. and a lot of the time, i forget when i'm parked and then go days having the mini panic attacks until i finally get my act together. and then i always say, "i am totally going to remember how to do this this next time," but the time between clock changes is just long enough for me to really forget again. (yesterday, though, i was riding shotgun in reggie and i was able to get the manual out and change the clock the second i noticed it was wrong. definitely some sort of record for me.)

[two] it is now the third day of november and i have yet to write a single word for my nano novel. i have yet to even think of a plot or character or even random thought i can run with for my nano novel. it's sad, is what it is.

[three] BUT i do successfully own a house now. which we spent (with the very appreciated great help from the rest of my awesome family) the entire weekend moving into. aside from a few random things in my apartment closet (my wedding dress, graduation robes, a gazillion and three bags), a couple of vases, and the contents of my freezer that i totally forgot about, everything is in the new house. and not just in it stuffed in a box somewhere, but in it and unpacked. it's really pretty impressive.

[four] i probably should have just written these last three points as their own blog post (or at least one point) HOWEVER, when i said that everything was in the new house, i meant everything except for my couches. which would not fit through the door. so they are currently hanging out in my garage while my living room is looking pretty lonely with just a coffee table. so we are now faced with the need to go shopping for new couches. which of course, because i am me and weird, makes me sad because my couches.

[five]  in baby news, my husband and i have narrowed our short list of boy names to the top two boy names. i am leaning towards one, he is leaning towards the other, we'll see who wins at the end.

*New Houses - Two Door Cinema Club

Thursday, October 30, 2014

we're heading out in a bit to go to the closing thingie (i always want to say closing ceremony. it should be a ceremony.) for our house. which means that yes, this whole stressful road is coming to an end and by tonight, we should have the keys to our very own, very first, very new house. and like all major milestone-type moments of my life, i am a mixture of excitement and nerves and nausea. i kind of want to jump up and down but mostly just want to throw up. add to that the hormones of pregnancy, and i also want to do a whole lot of crying. oh well.

speaking of pregnancy, i had an appointment this morning where the doctor literally sat in the office and burst out laughing at the rate i gained weight in the past few weeks. (suffice it to say, i gained a bit more than i was supposed to.) i'm chalking it up to stress and stuff making me want sugary/salty carbs instead of literally everything else. protein is just very unappealing to me lately, and i'm not sure why. french fries and donuts, though? yes, please. with thirds. starting from monday, though, and i am back to healthy eating.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

things don't always go the way we planned

november is coming up. and with it, nanowrimo. now, i had every intention of letting the month pass by completely unacknowledged. this wasn't going to be one of those years where i question on here whether or not i have the time/will/motivation to write a novel a few hundred times and then inevitably write the fifty thousand words, if not finish the novel, come november. no, this was going to be a year where i shamefully acted like nanowrimo didn't exist, made sure not to draw anyone's attention to it, and then just didn't write anything ever again.

but then i saw the winner t-shirts.

there are dragons on them this year. dragons. i love dragons. i have always loved dragons. if you put dragons on the nanowrimo winner's shirt then i will take that as a sign from god that i should do nanowrimo this year. and so, i signed up and donated today (with a couple days to spare), and suddenly find myself staring down the mouth of the month with absolutely no novel idea except for, i really liked my characters last year and maybe this year i'll rewrite what i have of that novel and actually finish it.

i have a dissertation that i am supposed to be working on. i am *fingers crossed* closing on a new house tuesday (as in day after freaking tomorrow) and then moving in. and unpacking. and cleaning up the apartment i have lived in for the past three and a half years. i am trying to decide on how to decorate the nursery and then i need to actually decorate it. along with the rest of the house. i have so much school work to do it's terrifying. and now i am writing a novel in a month. and i know myself. this will jump to the top of my priority list and at the end of the month, it will be the only thing i have accomplished.

(side note: i finally got around to updating the word count in my sidebar (mostly), and can we all just agree that writing a million words this year is just never going to happen? major fail on my part. i mean, maybe if i was a more dedicated student then i might have made a bigger dent in this. maybe if i wasn't pregnant and moving and really bad at doing things i say i am going to do for myself then i could have reached the goal. maybe if i wasn't so bent on being one hundred percent available for people one hundred percent of the time just in case they need my help... but a million words is a lot more than i thought it was going to be and so much harder than i expected. if you care, my reading goal looks like it is heading in the same direction. is this what growing up feels like?)

*We Are One - Simba

Saturday, October 25, 2014

i'm halfway in

according to my pregnancy app, today marks the halfway point in my pregnancy. and can you believe that? because i cannot. i am already halfway done being pregnant, and i don't really feel like i was ever pregnant at all? (according to the ultrasound technician yesterday, though, my due date may actually be three days earlier than what was originally predicted which not only means that i have already maybe passed the halfway point in my pregnancy completely unknowingly, but also that my "new" due date is my nephew's birthday. i mean, march thirteenth was close to both my nephew and my husband, but close was okay. close wasn't on their birthday. and i kinda of grew to like three-thirteen. it's a nice number. so for all intents and purposes, i am sticking with my original due date. and yes i know that this is all a bunch of guesswork anyway and most babies are not even born on their predicted due date and saying that the due date is one day will not automatically make it that day and i do not care.)

but anyway, halfway point. my app tells me that there are one hundred and thirty nine days to go, which i guess must mean that i have been pregnant for one hundred and thirty nine days, and seriously, how did that happen? i thankfully have had a really easy pregnancy up to this point, which i am so grateful for, but i kind of wish that half of the pregnancy did not slip away practically unnoticed. i mean, i'm told i'm supposed to cherish this time or something. (i'm also told that it goes by really fast, but this fast? maybe once i get into my third trimester and start getting really big and pregnant i'll eat these words.)

but on to other news. yesterday started my twentieth week, and week twenty is when my doctor schedules the anatomy ultrasound. so yesterday, along with seeing grainy grey-scale pictures of spines and hearts and arms and legs and finding out that the baby weighs approximately 13 oz at the moment, i was able to find out the sex of the baby. (and by "i" i obviously mean "we" because my husband was there, too.) and we are having a... drum roll please... boy!

(the general consensus of those polled seems to be that everyone was kind of expecting a boy but still kind of hoping for a girl and we are all extremely happy about the whole boy thing and that he is healthy and growing normally and has all his limbs and organs and other weird acronyms that the technician was saying and i was promptly forgetting the names of.)

this also means that our name list has been significantly shortened and thank god for that. we had, early on, narrowed the boy names down to the top three, which had changed a bit in the beginning, but was a pretty stable list for the past couple of months. girl names were the ones giving us issues. so now i can take a deep breath and say, yeah we have our shortlist of names. and three names is few enough that i feel i can wait and see which one the baby looks like before actually choosing.

*Halfway Gone - Lifehouse

Monday, October 20, 2014

choosing a baby name is so hard, you guys. i mean, aside from the fact that i get sick of a name about ten minutes after deciding i really like it, it has to be an arabic slash islamic name that can also be said easily in english and/or is also an english name. if it sounds too english-y then it has to be easily said in arabic. it can't immediately bring to mind someone that i know, because it just feels weird when i say, "hmm what about (insert name here)" and all i can think about is the girl from my fifth grade class with her mouth stained blue from warheads. with practically every single name i start to like, someone will come along and say, "you mean like (insert insult or ugly word here that sounds kinda like the name)?" and the name is immediately ruined, because now it just seems like i'm naming my child demon. and my husband and i don't exactly have the same taste in names. and i have to like the meaning. and have i mentioned the fact that i get sick of names really, really fast? ugh.

this is why we need diversity in books and movies. if i grew up falling in love with characters that had names i could name my children, i would not be having this issue right now. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

there's something about sitting in front of a computer screen in the early AMs when the rest of the household is asleep that is both lonely and that comfortable kind of solitary at the same time. it is familiar, but familiar in the way that every person you used to be is.

it makes me miss friends and MSN messenger and trying to stay quiet so my parents won't know i'm still awake.

it is a quiet, tired feeling and a time of blooming possibilities.

everything is different at times like this. the internet is different, the shadows on the wall, the howling of the wind, all of it. but at the same time, everything is exactly the same.

i feel like the sad character in a book or movie who goes back at the end of the story to the bar or the house or the school or wherever and sits alone with the memories of times when those places were not so empty, nowhere near as lonesome.

i feel like i should be having a written conversation about tv shows, or harry potter fanfiction, or life and hopes and dreams. i should be expressing myself in navy comic sans, size ten, bold. (that was my MSN messenger font. always.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

this has got to stop

it's that time of year again when i pretend that i don't just talk about myself day in and day out. yup, blog action day. i had kinda sorta forgotten about blog action day this year, but the topic is inequality, and i was planning on writing something about this anyway, so, killing two birds with one stone or what have you.

the inequality i want to discuss is directly related to the patriarchy, violence against women, and rape culture, and can be addressed with a little thing called feminism. i am not going to go into a long rant about this (because i would go on forever and there is actually a specific story i want to discuss today), but i will say that if you claim to not be a feminist, you are one of three things: lying, misunderstanding the meaning of feminism (which is understandable in this world of media misinformation), or an asshole.

i don't know how many of you know anita sarkeesian, but i think i posted about her on my blog before and she's the creator of the video series tropes vs. women. anyway, she was supposed to speak yesterday morning at Utah State University's Center for Women and Gender. a few days before the event, though, several people at the university began getting threats. a utah state student claimed to have "a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs" and threatened to massacre sarkeesian and anyone who showed up for her talk. his threatening email states "feminism has ruined my life and i will have my revenge." it also said that the author "will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America." sarkeesian asked if weapons would be allowed at the talk, and she was told that, according to utah state law regarding the carrying of firearms, if the person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to bring it to the event.

so to recap, the authorities told sarkeesian, who has had multiple death threats because of her line of work (which in and of itself is ridiculous), that despite the fact that there was a credible threat to both her and countless other people (mainly women), a threat which specifically referenced a mass male-on-female attack from the past (the montreal massacre), they wouldn't take the necessary steps to protect these women because it would infringe on people's right to carry weapons. um... what?

we are living in a world where high school football players can videotape themselves raping a drugged classmate, but then she's the bad guy for "ruining their promising football careers." a world where a student kills a girl in his class because she said no when he asked her to prom (she was going with her steady boyfriend, but that shouldn't make a difference) and all the media can talk about is how great of a kid he was and how hard this must be on his parents. uh, the kid brought a knife to school because he knew she would say no, he felt entitled enough to end her life, and it's him and his parents we should be feeling sorry for? how does that make any sense? we are living in a world where the reaction to emma watson calling on men to support feminism was death threats and threats to leak nude photos. a world where women are paid less to do the same job and then fired if they ask for a raise because they are "too aggressive."

but go ahead and listen to the condescending people who tell you that feminism is no longer needed. there's no inequality around here.

(if you're interested, you can find my previous blog action day posts here, here, here, here, and here.)

*Elephant - Damien Rice

Monday, October 13, 2014

i swear that you've got me all wrong

first of all, i don't know how anyone expects me to get anything done with this weather. like, seriously, there are freaking dementors wandering around outside and you want me to do research? or make bank calls? or harass real estate agents? or grade stuff? or do dishes? or clean out my closet? yeah, okay. this weather clearly calls for hiding out at hogwarts in a book and snacking on junk all day long. (except i am actually really hungry for real food, but we don't have any food in the house because i've been at my parents house for so long - it;s my first day back. and i also don't feel like cooking. i just want cheese enchiladas to appear in front of me with a side of rice and beans. i would be perfectly happy with a bagel with lox and cream cheese, too. oh, and i did laundry, so i guess it's the day for getting some stuff done.)

this brings us to my second point (well, let's pretend it does): my adviser has some tragically misguided ideas about me, and i don't know how to tell him that he's wrong. see, all of his other students are at his office constantly asking him for help and getting his opinion and showing him their results and whatever else one does with an academic adviser, i'm sure. i'm obviously not doing that.

when he talked to my third committee member, he told her that i am a really hardworking and independent student. i thought he was just saying that so that she'd work with me. it turns out that, no, he actually thinks that i have been sitting at home working on my dissertation instead of actively partaking in self-sabotage and procrastination. it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. see, i used to be that type of student that he thinks i am. i used to set myself deadlines and get my stuff done when it needed to be done. i used to work by myself and show up after a long absence with a completed project worthy of publication. (not my words. i'm surprisingly not that arrogant.) but now? now i have all but given up on my work. i have zero motivation and even less self-discipline. i am so over school but don't have the guts (or the ego) to let anyone else know and just drop out. or take a break. or something.

my adviser set up a research group of sorts for all of his students and anyone else who wanted to join. he subtly hinted that maybe i should present my work this week. (i think he just wants to know how far i am and doesn't want to come out and just ask me.) he actually thinks i have work done, you guys. i don't know how to break it to him that i've tried, i really have, and i just can't bring myself to do anything on this stupid project. it's part laziness, part procrastination, part being burned out, and part spite (because i am passive-aggressive and stupid and just realized this recently but i think i am stubbornly refusing to do any work on this to spite the people who are so invested in it. idiotic, i know.)

i might have to come up with some mysterious illness wednesday night. and then maybe in the next two weeks i can throw something together to give a presentation about? maybe? hopefully?

(i also just read a fanfiction piece about james and sirius right after sirius fell through the veil, and now i'm sad. and hungry. this weather, man.)

*As Lovers Go - Dashboard Confessionals

Friday, October 10, 2014

so for some really strange and really stupid reason, my brain thinks that youtube is more productive than blogging. or maybe that blogging is a bigger way to procrastinate than youtube. or maybe it's just lazy and is using productivity and procrastination as excuses because i do it so often. whatever the reason, i've been telling myself that i want to blog since early this afternoon and just could not get myself to actually do it. (i did manage to get everything graded that needed to be, so... yay me for that.)

anyway, i totally felt the baby move today which is incredible and everything, but also really weird and creepy. i mean, there is a miniature human being just sitting inside of me moving. and i can feel it. super weird. i remember when my older sister was pregnant with her first son and she said that she could feel him scratching her. (not like in an ow this hurts but in an i can feel fingers moving along my insides.). and just whaaaaaat. that has haunted me for the past six years. whenever i thought of pregnancy i would think tiny fingers scratching me from the inside and um NOPE. but this wasn't a scratching or even a real kick or punch or anything (apparently it's still early for that?) and i was fully able to appreciate the amazingness of it right along with the weird.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

time for me to do it

this morning was so productive, you guys. so. productive. and now, when i still have a few things left to do, i just... stopped. my motivation and productivity and whatever else just came crashing down around me and i just spent the last almost hour trying to find a new chrome extension for tumblr because xkit stopped working and i'm not handling it very well. an hour that i was supposed to spend grading the papers that i didn't grade on tuesday so that i could grade them wednesday and then didn't grade on wednesday because i am the laziest, most procrastination-inclined waste of academic space there is. i just... school. ugh.

this morning, though, i was a real functioning adult. i was overachieving. egg salad sandwiches instead of cereal and milk for breakfast. buffalo and ranch chicken wraps instead of pb&j sandwiches for lunch. (my parents are out of town, so i'm pretending once again to be head of the household slash homemaker, and i think this is what i was made for. once cricket starts school, i can totally see myself turning into that overly obnoxious pta mom that bakes homemade cookies for every event, never misses a single excuse to show up at the school, volunteers for literally everything, is crafty in the showiest way possible, and makes sure that every other mom hates me for making them feel like they probably don't love their kid as much as i do. i mean, i am basically that person already. god help us all. (although i can just as easily see myself going to extremes in the exact opposite way as well, like total slacker mom gives her kids a bag of chocolate chips for lunch and shows up to every event in the same hoodie and other moms both feel sorry for me and are slightly scared of me. it will be interesting to see which way i go.))

but back to my productivity.

after making sure the kids got on the bus and dropping the sister off at work and stopping at the apartment to check on the bunny and pick up my vitamins (because yesterday i was still a forgetful wannabe adult), i went to the bank and had an important adult bank meeting. and then i scanned and sent out all the important documents to everyone i was supposed to. and i made a bunch of important phone calls. (have i mentioned on here that i hate the house-buying-getting-a-loan process from the very core of my being? yes? well, there it is again.) and then i went to CVS and got important things i needed and nutterbutters which i probably did not need (but they were on sale! so still adulty!) and came home to pack the care package i have been meaning to seal up for weeks now but never got around to. and this was all before ten:thirty in the morning. and then i got on the computer to grade the papers and suddenly... i am me again.

i have tried to bribe myself with nutterbutters, but it has been going like this:

responsible me (rm): you can't eat any cookies until you grade at least half of the papers.
me-me (mm): i can, though.
rm: okay, yes, technically you can. but don't.
mm: *slowly reaches for cookies*
rm: don't do it.
mm: *picks up cookie*
rm: you can't eat that cookie until you at least start grading the papers
mm: *eats cookie*
rm: okay, that was just to remind you of how good they are so that you can start grading. motivation. and energy or something. but you can't eat any more until you at least finish grading two papers.
mm: i can, though.

and so then i wrote a blog post that probably could have been a lot shorter. just... ugh. school.

*On My Own - Whitney Houston

Monday, September 29, 2014

she's leaving home, bye bye

so a couple of days ago we put an offer on a house and long story short, some counter-offering later, i think we just got our house? or, like... we're a step closer? under contract? something? i'm not very good with the whole knowing very much about the house buying process and related terms. part of me is just relieved that this whole stupid thing is almost over. ugh. too many things on my plate and i'll be glad to take one of them off. i have already told my husband, family, and anyone who will listen that i am never moving again ever. unless the move consists of moving back to saudi arabia. (i feel like, between family and the fact that men are supposed to do everything over there, the move will be easier. i'm trying not to think about the fact that, for almost every family i can think of over there, the wife kind of took over the whole moving process. i really don't think i'm cut out for this kind of real life junk. anyway, that's still years away.)

a huge part of me is getting nostalgic already. i'm going to miss my current home so freaking much. i love my tiny apartment right in the middle of everything. (just as much as i sometimes hated it. more, actually.) i love that there is simultaneously the perfect amount of space and never enough space, how the amount of junk i accumulate/make makes the apartment look cluttered no matter how many times i clean (which, granted, isn't very often). i love that i am literally a four minute drive to campus. that i can walk ten steps to cheese enchiladas and hot fudge sundaes and a movie theater. i love my tower and my windows and being on the third floor. i love looking out at treetops and not having to go up a flight of stairs to get from the living room to the bedroom. i love the fact that i can now make a perfect pancake and bake the best chocolate chip cookies in an oven that gave me so much trouble three years ago. three years. i woke up today and stared straight ahead at my wall and thought, how many more mornings will i wake up to this same wall? how many more times will i brush my teeth in this sink, pull an ice cream sandwich out of this freezer (yes, i eat ice cream sandwiches with breakfast. don't judge me. i'm pregnant. and also, calcium. and yum.)

i suppose that the happy will come sooner or later. i mean, i really do like the house. but whenever there is an option for a form of sadness, you can bet your life that that's where my head is going to take me. i remember when my older sister and her husband moved out of their apartment after like a year of marriage, i was heartbroken. this is a million times worse. so many life-changing events happened here. sigh. the younger of my two nephews drew a picture of me this past summer where i am "kinda happy" and i think that it's the greatest depiction of me ever.

but like, yay new house. or something. (i am such a downer oh my gosh. i would be a terrible book character. the worst ever to read. and that is how i judge my life so i should maybe probably start working on this happy thing.)

*She's Leaving Home - The Beatles

Saturday, September 27, 2014

do their best to change you, they still can't erase you

this poem is not about you.

i am waiting, waiting,
and you are gone.

but this poem is not about you.

you are falling asleep on the couch
again. the tangled blankets beside me
a shadowy body taking your place.

but this poem is not about you.

you are a cup with a hole
at the bottom. i am always trying
to fill you, and you are never full.

but this poem is not about you.

you are grasping hands
and reaching arms
and tongues just waiting to speak.

but this poem is not about you.

i am sending you messages
with capital letters and exclamation points,
and you are sending back silence.
and then more silence.

just remember, this poem was never about you.


tonight is a writing night. i guess. apparently.
this is not what i meant to write, but it is what i wrote.
maybe i will write another poem that is not about you.
i'm not sure when my thoughts started using line breaks.
i am not sure when i became so fragmented.
so sparse.

*Hand Me Down - Matchbox 20

i don't know

things i do not know

i don't know when shark week is, or
the best time to praise or fear
a shark, or what the point is
of shark week, really.

i don't know how to take a compliment
or say thank you or you're welcome
or tell someone that they are air.

i don't know why i am always living in the past.
perhaps i got lost there, and i am desperately
trying to find my way home
before the future catches up.

i don't know how to be steady.
my emotions are mountain ranges and canyons.
there is constantly a storm brewing out at sea.
i am up-ups and down-downs and never
anything in between.

i don't know where i end
and where you begin. or maybe
i don't know where you end and i begin.
i don't know if i am even here at all.

*When You Were Young - The Killers

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

it seems my life is going to change

this is a happy post. this is also, for some strange reason, a really hard post for me to write. i don't think i do happy very well. in anything.

so instead of trying to "write good" i am going to let imagery and metaphors and storytelling skills sit on the sidelines, and just say it: 

i'm pregnant!

yup, me - who still can't figure out her own life - is going to be completely in control of another person's life. and i think it's going to be awesome (as well as completely and utterly terrifying). i've been around kids my entire life, and i don't want to brag or anything, but i'm pretty fantastic with them. 

now that i'm not trying to build up to anything because i ruined the end right at the beginning, here's the lowdown:

i found out i was pregnant on the fourth of july. (something about that always makes me roll my eyes at myself so hard.) 

i then went halfway across the world and had an exhausting summer. aside from being extra tired and moody, though, i was pretty lucky with the pregnancy symptoms. guess who managed to get away with no morning sickness in exchange for some vague queasiness during the day? fifteen weeks and three days into this pregnancy and i have thrown up a grand total of zero times. 

i dunno if i'm just really stupid or what, but i've found the whole baby growing process fascinating and surprising. i took biology, i swear, but i guess i just never thought that when they said the baby at this point was like a tiny person i really got that. like, it has finger prints and taste buds and all of its limbs and organs and eye color and it's only four inches tall. i find that to be so amazing. it's been so cool reading about the new developments that are made every week. 

we call it Cricket because i think it is a cute unisex nickname and was also the name of the character in the book i was reading at the time and i am still very sad about the fact that i can't name my kid after my favorite characters so this was the next best thing. my dad hates the nickname, though, thinks it's awful that i'm calling my future kid a bug, and lectured me on it enough times that i stopped using it around him. my nephew doesn't understand why we would look for a "real" name at all and thinks cricket is a perfectly perfect name. 

i've heard the heartbeat twice (and cried like a hormonal idiot the first time) and had one ultrasound so far. it was pretty cool (read: totally awesome). 

i feel like there are so many other more important things that i should say about this, but i'm drawing a blank. my words and happiness, man, they have never gotten along. so yeah. that's my news. share in my happiness. 

*With Arms Wide Open - Creed

Monday, September 22, 2014

it just takes some time, little girl, you're in the middle of the ride, everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alrightl

if you remember, twenty-six was going to be the year of deep breaths for me. and it has been. but apparently, for me to take a deep breath, i need to have some sort of breakdown first. i think it increases my lung capacity. or something. i let myself fall just long enough into the fear-panic-self-loathing spiral that i really believe i have done it this time, gone too far down once again. just when the idea that it will no doubt take years to crawl back out of this starts to turn into truth, i inhale real deep, fill my lungs like balloons, and float slowly back up to solid ground. well, as solid as the ground ever is. it may not be the funnest cycle, or the most productive, but it's apparently what i do. should you want to try it yourself, here's how to go about it:

monday: after letting the pot of stress you have become slowly come to a boil for weeks, finally allow yourself to believe that it will boil over. that you will explode. that it is all too much and you cannot handle it. try and do something simple (like write a blog post) repeatedly. fail every time. write a stress-fueled mental breakdown of a post instead. cry. eat lots of junk food.

tuesday: wake up before the sun and resign yourself to the fact that that dull headache is there to stay. go out to breakfast with your dad. go to a pottery class with your mom. snarkily resent all the new students in the class and bemoan the loss of your old pottery family. grade papers for school. watch game shows on tv. pretend nothing is wrong. take phone calls and don't believe your lies about nothing being wrong. have a stressful breakdown to your parents at their dining room table. cry some more. eat lots of junk food.

wednesday: throw a bag full of clothes into the back seat of your car, pick your dad up, and run away to connecticut. stay there through the weekend. spend your time attending a conference and watching cold case and law and order. let your grandma go on and on about how awesomely amazing and smart and pretty and perfect you are. don't argue with her. don't answer your phone. don't check your email. allow yourself to take a deep breath and watch as things settle down around you.

sunday: come home. stumble a bit when you hit the solid ground. start to feel the panic rise again.

monday: take another deep breath, and start getting stuff done.

and here we are. monday again. so the apartment may be a mess, there may be a pile of unfolded clothes sitting in the hallway, the banks may be ignoring my emails, i may not be prepared for future assignments in two out of the three classes i TA for, we may have yet to buy a new house, and i was supposed to shower this morning. BUT we can easily afford two out of the four houses we're debating between without talking to the bank, one without having to ask them for a bigger loan but rather just putting down a little more to start with, and i mean three out of four is not bad. so we don't get the dream house? there's plenty of time for dreams and going after them later. settling for "would have been perfect if i hadn't seen the other one" isn't really settling at all. my husband will be on vacation in a couple of weeks and the apartment will be sparkling by the end of it, i am one hundred percent caught up on grading assignments and ready for the next couple of batches coming in this week. i live in a place where there is clean, hot water to shower with 24/7.

deep breath. start getting stuff done.

*The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

Monday, September 15, 2014

it sucks to grow up

so i've been trying to write a post for a few days now. a happy post. a look at my good news post. a post that should not be giving me so much trouble god dammit. but instead, all of the stress from everything else keeps seeping in and my good news sounds like overwhelming news. my happy sounds like i am three seconds away from pulling my hair out and jumping off the edge but i think i may punch you in the face first because aaaaarrrrggggghhhhh.

you guys, why is being an adult so effing hard? mortgages. like, why am i even dealing with this stuff? i was not built for it. i was built for fictional worlds and imagination. this is much too real for me. never ending phone calls from real estate agents and banks and mortgage companies and sales associates and i hate the phone. i will avoid phone calls for as long as humanly possible. i have to work up to them for days and practice what i'm going to say and take three deep breaths before i hit the call button and start praying that it goes to the machine the second that first ring starts. and that's when i call my grandmother. it's even worse with strangers. i really hate talking on the phone. and i do it now. all. the. time. and why are banks so annoying? and how can there be income that doesn't count as income when the money is all very real i assure you. and why are some sources of income more reliable than other sources? if the money is regularly being deposited into my account then why the eff do you care where it's coming from? like, i really swear i am not trying to steal your money, banker. i really will pay you back. i promise. just give me the effing loan. and houses. gah. why are there so many of them, and why are so many sucky? and why are the pretty ones the ones i can't have? and school oh my god. any forward movement that was started at the beginning of this semester has come to a screeching halt because i cannot even think about school right now beyond my office hours (and the first batch of assignments are due tonight. does it look like i have the time or energy to start grading papers? does it?) and i need to think about school because if i do not have solid proof of forward movement then the chances of me getting an extension on my scholarship (which ends this semester ohmygodohmygodohmygod) drop to pretty much zero. and mortgages, man. when did i become the type of person to worry about mortgages? and so much stress eating. i think i just paid the little debbie ceo's yearly bonus on my own. so of course i now feel fat and gross and filled with marshmallow cream as well as stressed and lost and like i should not be dealing with all of this i am the wrong person for the job.

AND my trip to harry potter world was effing cancelled because apparently things just need to suck for me right now with no light at the end of the tunnel and no silver lining.


see, this is why i never wanted to grow up.

*Still Fighting It - Ben Folds

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

the things we lost in the fire fire fire

so i read we were liars last night (because i have awesomely amazing friends that surprise me with books i want to read in the mail because they are awesomely amazing). i'm not going to talk about the story because if any of you want to read it, you should go into it completely blind. (i will say though that i predicted the ending super early in the book but still found it really enjoyable. so. also i wrote a review of it on goodreads and if you read it (the book) then i want to talk to you about it. because book talk.)

but anyway, the book is written in this lyrical slash poetic prose (and don't you hate reviews that say that? don't you hate even more books that are written in verse or try to be "lyrical?" so much pretentiousness. this one grew on me, though.) and i started reading it last night after a pretty crappy day ending. i had that dull headache that you get after crying too much and my eyes were burning and still not sure if they were done crying and would randomly tear up again when i least expected them to. i was only going to read the first chapter or two (or ten when i saw how short they were) but i ended up just reading through to the end. because of the story and the writing style and my headache and my thoughts that i didn't want to think and the quiet that settles on the world sometime after one:thirty in the morning and the bright light of my bedroom compared to the dark of the rest of the apartment and my husband sleeping next to me (i asked if the light was bothering him, okay? i'm not entirely selfish) and the way that every position gets uncomfortable when you read in bed for so long and the random lines in the book that would jump out at me and crawl into the folds of my brain to stay there forever, there was something surreal about the whole thing.

now, usually, when i read a book that i like, especially one like we were liars, the first thing i do when i finish it is turn it right back over and start reading it from the beginning again. when you read a book for the first time, you are reading to know what happens. and sometimes you miss things. little lines or glances between characters or small references that your brain just skips right over to get to the big ending. so i read it again. and i read it slower. and i enjoy picking up on all the little things that i missed the first time. last night, though, i closed the book, thought about it for a minute, played candy crush, checked instagram, and went to sleep. and now i can't decide whether i want to reread it or not.

i mean, i really liked this book. (the good thing about being busy this summer was that i missed all the hype for it and got to go into it without expectations or spoilers.) but i don't know if i liked it so much because the surrealness added something to the chaos of the book or because the book really was just that amazing despite the predictability and if it would fall short on a reread. i don't know if i want to risk how much i like the book just to get the small things that i missed. (these are the problems in life that i don't mind having, that i wish all problems were like.)

what i do know is that i have missed books. more than i realized.

*Things We Lost in the Fire - Bastille
sometimes a secret bubbles up inside of you, natural and beautiful, like a spring in the middle of a shaded wood, and it's so small and so clear and so perfect that you need to keep it. just for now. just to start with. it needs to be protected and there is no one else around to do it so you take up the task. and you hold that secret close like a heartbeat, like a butterfly, like the first ten cents that you ever got your hands on and you didn't quite know what it was or what it meant but you knew that it was somehow tied up with power and freedom and it was a little piece of the thing that everyone else in the world was chasing after. and maybe your legs were too short and your lungs were too small to join the race just yet, but you held your fist tight around the small piece of the future that you knew you'd go after one day and you felt connected to everyone else. and you're sitting in the forest with the small spring that grew into a creek that grew into a stream that grew into a river and it is still clear and it is still perfect but you're starting to worry that it doesn't need your protection anymore, and you start to think about other people wading through your river with their dirty feet and their grimy hands and you can't breathe because the weight of sharing this perfect place is sitting heavy on your chest and the thought of people ruining what you have protected for so long is crushing your lungs. so you build a bridge to divert people away from your river. let them go over instead of through. but you think about them stomping over the clear water and kicking down bits of dirt and throwing rocks over the edge and you're seeing red in a place that used to be green. you are yelling at the people that are trying to cross and scaring away the ones that even get close. the people you used to feel connected to now just look like the enemy. with the purest of intentions you have become the troll under the bridge.


sometimes the smallest hint of an idea comes into my mind and instead of letting it stew and marinate, instead of waiting until it forms itself into something that makes sense, i write it down. and the next thing and the next and the next and in an almost panicked state i am putting down mixed metaphors and half-baked ideas and imagery just this side of good. and then i read over it and it sounds like a hurried jumble and instead of editing it or carving it for pieces i decide to leave it alone and post it. because why not. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

this is one time that you can't fake it hard enough

i don't understand how people adult. like, how do you wake up every morning and go to work and pay your bills and buy a house? how do you not eat a bag of chocolate chips and stay up too late looking at gifs of tv shows you don't even watch? how do you stop not doing the things you are supposed to do? i feel like maybe i should have figured this stuff out by now. there are only so many times that you can fake your way through things, and i think maybe my abilities will start to wear off pretty soon.

but until it does, let's talk about house hunting. because oh my god it is the worst. i liked all of the houses that i lived in while i was growing up, so i really just want to hand my parents my money and have them buy a house for me. i don't do well with decisions or too many options and i just really want this whole thing to be over already. 

yesterday we looked at houses. most of them were in various stages of suckiness. i mean, they weren't bad but they weren't not bad either. there was this one house that i was in love with online. i was ready to buy it before i even saw it. and then i saw it. and i still don't think i am over the disappointment. and not "being committed" to a real estate agent yet means that i had seven hundred of them wanting me to commit to them and then some of them called this morning and i have no idea which one is which because i am really bad at faces. and names. and people. 

that's another thing about house hunting. there's people involved. people use up so much of my energy. and there's shopping. and shopping uses up the rest of my energy. this was what the internet was made for. get with the program, real estate. i should be able to search for houses online (which admittedly i can) and then add the ones i like to my cart, eventually narrow it down to one, type in my billing information, and have myself a new house. (the disappointment of my dream house yesterday has already pointed out how bad of a plan that is. i know. just.... ugh.) 

i love looking at houses when there is no pressure to make a decision that will affect the next five to seven years of my life. and who decided that money should even be a thing? because budget limitations suck. 

and because i am me and this whole thing is too much adult for me to handle, i am planning to run off to harry potter world in florida early next month for a good dose of fiction. i'm trying to use it as motivation for house shopping. like, c'mon if you make a decision on a house you can go to florida! but i am too smart to trick myself and i know that i will go regardless and think that maybe i can figure out a way to just live in the wizarding world for the rest of my life. who needs a house when you can have a castle?

*The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most - Dashboard Confessionals

Monday, September 1, 2014

not really sure how to feel about it

so i had a meeting on friday with my old stat professor, as you all know. i was a little worried about the fact that i've forgotten most of the statistics i learned over the years, and if forced to talk stat talk i would probably just start panic yelling random words like standard deviation, bell curve, and outliers. i was also worried about the fact that, although i know i'm going to need some stat stuff for my dissertation because my question is "how effective" and my adviser told me so, i'm not exactly sure what i'll be testing or how i'll be measuring stuff yet. but, as it turns out, i could have walked into that meeting completely unprepared (which i did. okay okay i was more in the basically unprepared camp than the completely one.) and still walked out of it with a very enthusiastic and excited new committee member (which i also did).

along with my email asking the professor for a meeting and telling her that i took a class with her a million years ago so she should love me, i sent a brief abstract and outline of what i think my dissertation is going to look like so far. (people are really impressed by this document because they think it means i know what i'm doing. in reality, it's literally the only thing i have done so far and i still basically have no idea what i'm doing. the outline is really good, though. whenever i read it i even fool myself into thinking that i have things under control.) anyway, the lady read my idea and where i'm hoping to take it and got so excited about it that she went and talked to my adviser about joining my committee and what she can help with and where she thinks we could go and how thrilled she is before we even saw if we were "a good fit" in person. like, guys, she is really excited about this idea. which was such a foreign feeling to me. i mean, my adviser likes my idea, sure, but he helped to develop it so he should. most other people either don't like it or don't care or want to tweak it into something that fits their interests better. (i'm pretty sure that my other committee member still has no idea what my idea is. i'm pretty sure he doesn't care in the least bit.)

one of the main issues i had with finding a committee is that i don't want to just build a system. i'm not interested in that. i've always been more into analysis and investigations and storytelling. and most of the people who are eligible to sit on a committee believe that, to get a PhD in IT, you should build a system. this lady, though? she was so excited that she would finally get to help on a project with data analysis, because that is her passion. she likes security, too, which is basically my background so we hit it off there as well. and she really liked my adviser and is friends with my other committee member. it really seems like everything worked out exactly the way it was supposed to. it was just an overall good meeting, and i left it really excited. (as i tend to get when people are enthusiastic about my idea and encouraging and not the negative, rude, you-should-probably-drop-out kind of people that a lot of my other meetings were with.)

but because i am a brat, it did not take long for the excitement to turn into "ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod now i actually have to do work and i'm going to be held accountable for things and the things i've been putting off but telling people i've been doing need to be done by the end of the month and i should pribably stop procrastinating and aaahhhhhhhhh." so on the one hand, this phd thing looks like it's actually happening. the wheels are spinning, the cogs are turning, we're brushing off cobwebs and finally making some forward progress. yay! and on the other hand, uggghhhh woooorrrk. 

(disclaimer: i know i sound obnoxious about this. i know this is a good thing. i will be happy about it at some point, hopefully pretty soon. at the moment, though, i'm just a tad bit super overwhelmed.)

*Stay - Rihanna

Thursday, August 28, 2014

i should have known better

tomorrow morning i have a meeting with my stat professor from undergrad. she seems willing to join my committee... IF we feel like a good match in person. if she does join my committee, then i will have all of the IT/engineering/mathy type people that i need and i can get my last person from ANYWHERE. and people outside of my realm of sciencey tech geeks relate to me so much more, like me so much more, think my project is awesome. i feel like i should prepare for this meeting. i should brush up on my statistics and reread everything i have for my dissertation and read her biography and know her interests. i really need her to join my committee. this would mean the end of so much suffering. (it would also mean that i would suddenly have a full committee and zero excuses left so i would need to actually work and research and write and ugh i've gotten real used to not doing anything and blaming my circumstances. but i'm not thinking about that. at least not yet. for now i am only allowing myself to feel positive vibes about this. i will not allow myself to not want what i want, or what i am pretty sure that i think i want, or what i should want.)

my brothers are sleeping over, though. and i am so so tired. and i need to procrastinate now before i won't be able to procrastinate again. and so instead of preparing for this meeting i watched harriet the spy with my husband and brothers. because that felt like the right thing to do at the time. and i mean, i could start preparing now, but i would much rather go to sleep. plus, the work i have finished is depressing me. when i look at it, all i can think is, as sport would say (from harriet the spy obviously), "this is worse than crap. this is what crap wants to be when it grows up."

anyway. just in case this meeting miraculously works out (do you remember when i walked into these things confident and hopeful? i was such a young, naive idiot), i felt like it should be mentioned here. since i have filled this blog with years of whining about my lack of a committee. it's only fair. 

*I Should Have Known Better - The Beatles

Saturday, August 23, 2014

and sometimes i hear you, the galaxy sings your song

when the older of my two nephews was really young (i mean, he's only five now) he used to love the story of goldilocks and the three bears. there was a little board book that belonged to my brothers when they were small that i would read to him. if i didn't have the board book, i would tell him the story from memory - complete with different voices for all the characters and dramatizations in the reading. when they moved to saudi arabia the first time, i used to read him the story over skype. the other night, i needed to keep his younger brother quiet for a few minutes, so i sat him down in the kitchen and told him all about goldilocks and the three bears (which i am almost one hundred percent sure he has heard before a million times both from me and his own parents, but which he listened to as if it was the very first time he had heard it. i appreciated it).

after i finished the story and he asked his follow up questions about goldilocks (they didn't eat her, did they? she was okay, wasn't she? what happened to her? where did she go? why did they never see her again? those kinds of things), he sat quiet for a minute before he said, "but... what if her mom didn't know how to make porridge? what if her mom didn't know how to make anything?" and suddenly i was feeling sorry for one of the few fictional characters that i never really felt anything for one way or the other.

other things this kid has said over the past couple of weeks:

he was sitting in the back seat of my car, and when i glanced back at him in my rearview mirror, i noticed he looked upset. "omar, what's wrong?" i asked. he met my eyes in the mirror and said, "it's just... trees don't talk." um. okay. (he wouldn't elaborate, but i'm still not entirely sure that he wasn't upset because he heard trees talking and trees are not supposed to talk.)

another time i was taking them with my grandma to walmart so they could show her a book they had seen and wanted. he hops out of my car and says apropos of nothing, "i wouldn't want to have blood dripping down me." yeah, kid, cause that's not creepy.

and also, the title of this post doesn't really have much to do with anything, but my brain really isn't firing on all pistons at the moment. (i honestly don't think i have ever used that phrase before in my life, and i'm not really sure where it came from.) there are a lot of reallys in this tiny paragraph.

*Forget About What I Said - The Killers 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

she believes that life is made up of all that you're used to

tuesdays smell like iced peach and violet and taste like scrambled eggs.

routine hangs heavy around us like a fog that we forget to look through, and when it rises it's as if it was never there, but when it falls it becomes all we ever knew. my alarm shrills its wake up call at five:forty am and my body, the same one that protested just yesterday that ten hours of sleep could never be enough, is already awake and responding to it. the panic of forgotten to-do lists and appointments that need to be made, meetings that need to be had, reports that need to be written, and emails that need to be sent crawls up my spine and swims through my veins.

my feet grow heavy and find the familiar paths that they walk down every day from september through june. my eyes forget to wander. my chest welcomes back the sense of unease that hangs just under everything else. i start missing the people that i haven't even said goodbye to yet, and my skin yearns for the warmth of the summer sun that is shining right outside.

i loved summer vacations as a child, but i did not crave them like i do now. i did not need them like i do as a twenty-something year old that is still trying to find her way. it is within these three months that i can turn my head away from everything "i should be doing" and just be me. it is here in these three months that hope can be found. that promise is still alive. that possibilities are real.

and so i hold tight to them. i scream out for ice cream and fountains and lazy days in the sun. i close my eyes tight for one more day where i can eat burgers and drink lemonade and not think about the growing list of things i cannot do.

but fall is coming. it is unavoidable.

and tuesdays smell like iced peach and violet again.

*3 AM - Matchbox 20 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

so last night was the kind of night that you wake up at three:thirty in the morning really needing to pee and then go back to bed and toss and turn and toss and turn but just can't. fall. asleep. and after playing candy crush and checking instagram and putting down your phone to try and go back to sleep, you're still staring at the ceiling then the wall then the ceiling then the back of your eyelids just to look at the ceiling again. and then you grab your phone every fifteen minutes to find answers to extremely pressing questions like, how exactly do you pronounce fondant.

apparently this leads to the kind of evening where you sit down to write a blog post because you have stuff to say but then you keep getting distracted because your husband is watching dennis the menace and you haven't watched that movie in decades and oh look it's the tying the robber up scene and suddenly the movie is over, you've barely written a paragraph, and you've forgotten what you have to say.

but anyway.

the past week or so has been filled with the most perfect summer days. like, seriously, think of a good way to spend a summer day and we have spent it that way this week. do you like to sit outside eating frozen yogurt while kids splash in a fountain? did it. do you like to spend your day at the farm looking at baby animals and taking hayrides? did it. do you like to laze around the house playing video games and watching old disney movies? did it. do you like to gorge yourself on pizza and hot fudge sundaes? did it. do you like to eat half a chicken with your hands while you watch knights on horseback engage in fake battles to the death? well, that's tomorrow.

ideal as this summer is at the moment, though, it's reaching that point where thoughts of school and responsibility and everything else that i pretend doesn't exist during the summer months are starting to creep in. it is not fun.

also, remember how excited i was for landline? and how upset i was that i wouldn't get it before i left on vacation? well, as soon as i came back, it was the first piece of mail that i opened. and then i carried it around for the day. and then i threw it in my tote bag and carried it around for the next two weeks. and now the dust jacket looks worn and i still haven't even opened the front cover. two thousand fourteen really sucks as a reading year for me. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

how do you move in a world of fog that's always changing things?

as of yesterday, i have been back in va for a week. it feels like i've been back for six months already. which is why every time i came to write one of the posts that i had planned to write this week, i couldn't help but feel like i was being slightly ridiculous. as if i was writing about airplane trips in the middle of december (which actually sounds like something i would do). so maybe i will hold off on those posts until the middle of december and instead talk about what's going on right now. which, aside from a bunch of family time, really isn't much.

but we started house hunting. again. sort of. i don't know why i'm finding it so difficult to leave my tiny apartment. i know that we need more space. but house buying is scary. and a huge decision. and a change. and a commitment. and expensive. and those are all  of my least favorite things.  

i mean, i love looking at houses. i always have. but i like looking at houses now the way i liked to whenever my family would move when we were younger. i like to look at the house itself, the paint and lighting and room size, with absolutely no thought to the hoa costs and home insurance and mortgage rates and all the other practical important adult considerations. the whole thing is just a little super overwhelming. just one more of those things they never really taught you how to do but then sort of just expect you to do because you reached a certain age and are now an adult and adults should be able to buy a house. or something. 

on a related note, remember how earlier in the summer i wanted to buy a lap loom but said i wasn't going to because a) i didn't need one and b) i wouldn't have time to use it? well, of course i caved and bought myself one as soon as i came back from the desert. and this note is only related as it proves that i do not know how to be a practical adult and how in the world am i supposed to buy a house?

*I Don't Want To Grow Up - Ramones

Sunday, August 3, 2014

home again, home again, jiggity jig

i had decided to stick to a similar posting schedule that i used for my scheduled posts, but i am not the greatest with schedules and want to write a post now, and so. here we are.

[one] i brought darcy home today and oh my goodness did i miss him. so so much. here was the conversation i had with the lady at the front desk when i went to pick him up:
me: hi. i'm here to pick up a rabbit i was boarding with you.
her: *looks up in shock* not mr. darcy?!
me: uh... yeah.
her: what's your name?
me: *say my name*
her: how do you spell it?
me: *spell it*
her: oh... *pause* what's your address?
me: *says it*
her: *sigh* okay. i'm really going to miss him.
when i was waiting for the attendant to bring darcy in from the back, the lady was telling me about how he was the favorite bunny boarder and that they would fight over who got to take care of him. and is it stupid to feel proud of your pet? because i'm not gonna lie, as they told me how gentle and well-behaved darcy was (things i obviously already knew), i was feeling a little proud.
and then, after i got darcy and they all said goodbye to him, the lady at the front started to cry and i dunno but i thought that was a little extreme.

[two] a little over three weeks ago, i went to saudi arabia. we stopped by my side of the country first, where i let my younger brothers take custody of james (my laptop). i left james with them when we went to my husband's side of the country and didn't get him back until i was headed to the airport to come back to virginia. while they had james, i used jackson (my ipad). this means that for the past month or so, i have not used a keyboard. and although i had some typo issues with the letters being further apart when i first got james back, i am so happy to have a keyboard. i also strangely missed the clicking sound of the keys.

[three] while we were gone, one of my neighbors either got a new dog or one of the puppies in the building grew up. either way, there is this really loud, really annoying dog that keeps barking. in that deep voice that only the really big and scary dogs have. i have yet to see the creature, and i kinda hope it stays that way.

*Some Rhyme About Pigs - Mother Goose?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

sometimes in life you drop little innocent hints about yourself and your location across multiple social media platforms that in and of themselves are neither too revealing nor harmful, but if you put them all together then they maybe just might be if you squint and tilt your head slightly to the left. other times in life you spend years taking classes in cyber security and grow into a very paranoid person that is hesitant to even look at a computer without first putting a paper bag over your head. and then there are the times where the first and second overlap just so and you end up leaving the country for three weeks but scheduling blog posts so that no one will know on the off chance that you have a crazy stalker waiting to break into your apartment the second they learn that it's empty. (granted, i mentioned on here that i would be leaving the country ahead of time so really, the whole effort was moot but whatever.)

anyway, i'm back! (i was gone as of july tenth, just in case you were wondering.) and i am exhausted. it feels like i spent a ridiculously large portion of those three weeks on airplanes and in airports. (i will probably calculate the exact percentage of my vacation that i spent in the air because i am a nerd, but it will have to wait until tomorrow because of that whole exhausted thing.) another large portion of that time was spent without the time/internet access to blog. (which i had planned for, hence the scheduled posts, but i was still supposed to write something last week.) i'm sure there are stories from my vacation that will seem blog-worthy in the morning, but at the moment, the only thought in my head is how delicious chinese food would taste right now. 

also, i definitely remember spending a lot of time before i left cleaning my apartment, but when i walked in today (after a taxi ride that i could not keep my eyes open in after the airlines didn't send one of our bags after we had to suffer through an annoyingly not-direct flight because we made reservations really late this year) and thinking, ugh the apartment looks so effing cluttered. because it is, of course. because there is really no other way for it be. i mean, there are only so many places that you can keep things in a one bedroom apartment. add to that the fact that i have an unhealthy addiction to yarn, regularly make and bring home pottery pieces throughout the year, have more books than i have room for, and a very bad habit of keeping everything "for memories" and, well... i'm sure you get the picture. i am able to block it out for most of the year, but the second i go to saudi arabia, where my room (in both families' houses) is sparse and neat and empty slash big enough so that even some things thrown on the floor doesn't make it look too messy, that ability disappears and i come back and just see small and cluttered and junk. but at the end of the day, it is my small and cluttered apartment and i love it. which is why i am the worst at house hunting fyi.